Links For September 23, 2014

The narrative lottery at XOXO – Good roundup of this year’s festival.

And it was hard to feel the same sense of intimacy in the crush of a crowd. Nearly every event felt packed and the conference space — a very interesting semi-converted building — was extremely long and narrow, rows of seats stretching back nearly a city block from the stage. It was still possible, as I experienced, to have small tete-a-tetes and be part of little clusters.... But often, I waited to join something, craned my neck, or felt a bit off to the side if I hadn’t gotten there early.

Despite the larger, less “intimate” atmosphere, I think I had a better time this year, partly because I always do better my second time at a thing (more solid footing, less social anxiety), and partly because as a dour pessimist, I appreciated that there was more variety in the talks and more of a willingness to interrogate both the conditions for and ramifications of success as an independent creative.

Also, this is important for “independent” creators, systems designers, network theoreticians, and people in general: What We Talk About When We Talk About What We Talk About When We Talk About Making

Vulvatron Is GWAR's New Vocalist

[GWAR] was left with a seemingly impossible task: finding a new front-person. How could anyone ever replace the outrageous, magnetic Dave Brockie? They couldn’t, and the GWAR crew knew better than to try, so they came up with something entirely different, and entirely unexpected. The band that has spent 30 years shocking the conscience of middle America might have made their most shocking move of all. Meet Vulvatron, a spiky purple Amazon whose massive (prosthetic) breasts occasionally shoot geysers of blood out onto her hapless audience.

How The ‘Kung Fu Fighting’ Melody Came To Represent Asia

One of the things Nilsson was trying to discover was whether the melody was ever a reference to a real Asian tune — or if it was purely a Western invention. “It doesn’t come from Chinese folk music, really,” Nilsson says. “It’s just a caricature of how [Westerners] think Chinese music would sound.”

You can now attach your iPad directly to your face to experience virtual reality

It was only a matter of time.... AirVR is a Kickstarter project from Toronto design firm Metatecture that seeks $20,000 in funding from backers to create an inexpensive headset for converting your iPad Mini (Retina) or soon-to-be-delivered iPhone 6 Plus into a portable virtual reality viewer.

Sonic Robots - Glitch Robot